Pillows are the life of the party. They get all the action when it comes to sleeping. They get rained on with drool, salted with sweat and dirty with skin oils and makeup. Yet, each and every day, they make a comeback and support our heads during slumber. Sometimes they end up at the end of the bed, sometimes on the floor and sometimes with a dog or cat propped up on them, but they never walk away. Pillows are our old faithfuls.

Get Washing

Before we get into the strange pillow stories, let’s talk about keeping your pillows clean. Simply put, we shed our skin. Dust mites eat the shed skin and multiply. If we don’t wash our bedding properly and often enough, there can be an overabundance of mites in our pillows. Does that make you want to wash them? Yes, of course it does. Apartmenttherapy.com suggests filling the sink with warm or hot water and gentle detergent, agitate and rinse, rinse, rinse the dirt out. Dry in the dryer or air dry.

If you haven’t gotten a new pillow or mattress in years, it’s time to do so as they deteriorate with each passing day. You can find built-to-last, ultra-size pillows from department stores, shop online at Macys.com for memory foam mattresses, or even create your own bedding if you have infinite amounts of time to knit. Wherever you get your goods from, know that pillows age and need to be taken care of. Some people take this a little too seriously (See stories below).

Her Strange Addiction

Tamara is a 33-year-old woman from Jonesboro, Ark. who has a “binky” in the form of a regular old pillow. Her name is Boo (yes the pillow is named Boo) and “she” has never been washed. Tamara and Boo are featured on the television gem “My Strange Addiction” on TLC and she makes no apologies for her love of her 30-year-old pillow. Could it be channeling her dead grandma? Maybe. But, whatever it is, she spends 6,500 hours a year (there are a total of 8765.8) with it and takes it everywhere she goes, according to the show. You can find Boo sitting in the front seat of a grocery basket or resting on a park bench watching her mama play badminton. Thankfully, Tamara leaves it out of the restroom.

He Married a Pillow

Thanks to Lisa Katayama of the New York Times, we now know the harrowing love story between a man and his pillow. This is a story how one pillow changed a man’s life. Nisan and Nemutan met in Tokyo at a comic book convention. Nisan is part of a unique subculture of Japan where men engage in romantic relationships with pillows. They are called 2-D Lovers and are a fandom that has obsessive tendencies toward anime characters. So much so that they cover their pillow with a character’s image and carry them through their day.

Nisan considers Nemutan (the pillow) his girlfriend and tells Katayama that his feelings for her are very real. They have been together for three years and do the things normal human couples do on dates like lay out at the beach and stick their tongues out in photo booths…Well, at least one of them does. May they live happily ever after.

This subculture was even featured on an episode of NBC’s popular sit-com “30 Rock” when guest-star James Franco hired one of the main characters, Jenna, to pretend to be his girlfriend in order to cover up his love affair with a Japanese anime body pillow. Thankfully, Franco doesn’t have a feather-stuffed love interest in real life (we hope).

In other news, a 28-year-old Korean man has actually married his pillow. That’s right. Metro.co.uk reports that Lee Jin-gyu had a wedding ceremony with a large (but very huggable) pillow with an image of Fate Testarossa, a famous anime character, on it. The lovely dress Lee purchased for her fits snugly on her curveless body as they share the special kiss of matrimony.

I wonder how often they wash their pillows.